The Big Picture: Fervent support for Africa's last men standing

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The Independent Online

Sing, sing Africa!

The hopes of a continent now lie solely in the hands of Ghana, perhaps represented by the tournament's most colourful supporters. Over 1,500 fans travelled down to South Africa for the finals, with more expected to travel to their quarter-final meeting with Uruguay in Johannesburg on Friday, where they hope to become the first African team ever to reach the semi-finals.



Lee Addy

Of the three players in the Ghana squad that are based domestically, Addy is the only one to have made an appearance in the finals thus far. The defender, who turns 20 next week, plays for Bechem Chelsea, whose colours are inspired by their London namesakes, and has been a fan favourite for the national team since he made his debut against Argentina in November last year.

War paint

Fans of the Black Stars immerse themselves in the colours of the national flag: green, yellow and red, along with a print of a black star. Also popular cover for the Ghana support is a Batakari, an African robe with several small mirrors stitched into it. They are, of course, complimented by a wealth of vuvuzela horns, as well as a series of horned headwear designed to intimidate opponents.

The Bold Eagle

Both Ghana and Saturday's opponents, the US, sport the eagle on their coat of arms. Ghanaians have embraced the bird as a symbol of pride and determination since winning independence in 1957, the first sub-Saharan country in Africa to do so, and the country's motto is "Freedom and Justice". Many Ghana fans can be seen with the eagle on their attire in some form, be it on a hat or as a tattoo.

Cooking pot

Both back in Ghana and in South Africa, fans have been spotted donning "juju" pots on their heads. These traditionally contain herbal leaves and potions to scare the devil away from the stadium on a match day. Black Stars fans have been spotted stewing concoctions during matches and Fifa is said to be frowning upon their use inside stadiums.

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